Metta Center: Roadmap To Personal Empowerment (to help create unstoppable movements)

… because it is not an easy task, we must join our hands together. The “Roadmap” is Metta Center’s attempt to offer three things to help create an unstoppable movement of movements: unity, strategy, and nonviolent power. 

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And it is precisely because it is not an easy task, we must join our hands together. The “Roadmap” is Metta Center’s attempt to offer three things to help create an unstoppable movement of movements: unity, strategy, and nonviolent power. One very appealing aspect of the Roadmap is that we all can identify ourselves with it – we all belong here. Roadmap illustrates the interconnectedness of our work, and many issues that are often seen as separate. It also shows the trajectory of “peace from within,” starting from our “Person Power” at the center.

In this May issue of Emergence, we explore this Roadmap, especially focusing on Person Power and New Story Creation. As Metta’s Roadmap Fellow, I have had the greatest honor of serving as Metta’s point person for Roadmap for the last month and contributing to this issue. We hope that you enjoy the journey of navigating this issue with the Roadmap Compass


Understanding the Roadmap

What is a Roadmap? 

Unity, Strategy, and Nonviolent Power for an unstoppable movement.

ROADMAP is a way of making the movement of movements visual, and set of tools activists (and those who wish to get active) can use to:
• Build Community
• Train in Nonviolence Principles
• Create and pursue strategic thinking toward the realization of campaign goals.

These tools include:
• the Roadmap MANDALA (see below)
• web-based ways to connect with one another and benefit from many resources, such as the COMPASS, and Study Guides, and finally
• ways to build a strategy for long-term change integrated into the model itself

Using Roadmap: Practical Suggestions:

• Find yourself in the picture: what issue(s) are you working on, or would like to? (The 18 subwedges are just examples).

• Ask yourself with whom you need to connect to make an impact with the issue you choose. Using Roadmap, identify: Whom have you tended to work with on this issue and whom might you add to make your strategy more robust?

• Articulate the “New Story” central to your issue. E.g. Mass Incarceration: “We do not get security from locking people away; we become secure by helping others to be secure,” etc.

• Build a strategic campaign to address your issue using the Mandala as a guide to full participation and big-picture thinking.

• Participate in the creation of a long-term strategy for a “movement of movements.”


Peace from within approach:

Integral to Roadmap is a “peace from within” empowerment model based on Gandhi’s famous concept of svadeshi, or ‘localism:’ we work on ourselves, work with colleagues, and then use that energy to work against oppressing systems (but not the persons operating them!). For some of us this will be more a set of priorities than steps in time.

New Story Work:

The top most wedge of the MANDALA is “New Story.” We must outgrow the low image of the human being and the ruling idea of a meaningless, material world that is the dominant paradigm of industrial, collapsing societies. All of us can adapt the key points of the emerging “new Story” (it has actually been around since time immemorial) for our own use, and share them wherever we can to explain where we are heading.

These points include:

• we are body, mind, and spirit

• as spirit, we are deeply interconnected: if I injure you (or any living thing), I injure myself

• we can never be fulfilled by the consumption of external things, but by deep relationships of service to the sacred life within and around us

• we have inner capacities, largely untapped, that liberate us from dependence on consumption and competition. They include our human capacity for nonviolence.


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